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How Smartphone and Tablet Users Get Showroomed

As online shopping becomes increasingly mainstream, many shoppers are using traditional stores as a “showroom” for later online purchases.

A new survey reveals that more than four-in-ten (43 percent) of smartphone or tablet owners have “showroomed,” i.e. used their device to research and examine merchandise in a brick and mortar store without purchasing it there, then gone online to search for a lower price.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of from September 18th – 20th, 2012 among 2,361 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The survey results were announced Wednesday, Oct. 17.

[ Also Read: Shopping is a Favorite Activity for Tablet Owners: Survey ]

The majority of shoppers who showroom end up buying an item online for less money. Of those who have ever showroomed, 97 percent have at least sometimes ended up buying an item they showroomed online at a later time for lower price. Twenty-eight percent said they do this always or often, while 68 percent said they do it sometimes.

When asked which types of items they have showroomed in the past, home electronics (50 percent) and tech devices (44 percent) top the list. The rest of the categories most often showroomed include:

  • Entertainment items (books, DVDs, CDs, etc…) – 40 percent
  • Apparel – 31 percent
  • Shoes – 29 percent
  • Traditional computers – 24 percent
  • Other – 19 percent

With the busy holiday shopping season quickly approaching, many consumers who own smartphones and tablets report they will use showrooming as a tactic to save money.

[ Also Read: Valassis Social Coupon App on the Facebook Platform ]

One-third of U.S. adults who own either of those devices plan on showrooming to find the best possible deals this holiday season.

“Consumers are using technology to find as many ways to save as possible, and showrooming is a prime example of that,” said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at

“As showrooming becomes more widespread, some stores are concerned and are changing their strategies, offering new incentives and providing special offers to keep shoppers buying at their retail locations.”

[ Also Read: Shopping App Brings Savings to Shoppers ]

When asked how concerned they are that the practice of showrooming may drive brick and mortar stores out of business, 44 percent are not at all concerned. On the flip side, 41 percent said they are somewhat concerned, 12 percent are very concerned and 3 percent are extremely concerned. offers a selection of coupons on the web. With online coupon codes, printable in-store coupons, grocery coupons, local deals, free samples and more, it is a site for coupons of different types.

Photo courtesy: Coupon Cabin

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